Red John died today…
You might not know what I am talking about. You have no context. I understand. But just hear me out. Red John died today.
It has been 6 months since I have been watching The Mentalist. I have been watching 3 episodes together at times, at times I have watched it once a week. But every day, I have thought about it. I might not have “binge-watched” but I have, “binge thought” The Mentalist. For 6 straight months. From the day Patrick Jane lost his wife and daughter to the mad serial killer Red John, to the day he avenges their murders by killing the ‘sexually perverted egoist’, I have followed the eccentric, sharp and at times arrogant Patrick Jane through his journey of highs and lows, through his journey of guilt and pain, through his journey of revenge and redemption. And today, Red John died.
Am I happy? Yes, I am. Patrick deserved justice. The world needed saving. Life needed balance. But strangely, here I am writing this essay with a little gloom in my heart. I am happy! Red John is dead! … But dead…isn’t Jane too? No! Nothing happened to the handsome protagonist. Physically at least. But as the days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months, Patrick Jane, as I see him, spent 10 years of his life tracking down Red John. And the more I saw Patrick, the more I saw a man, made because of his adversary. Would there be a Jane if there were no John? And with Red John dead today, hasn’t Patrick Jane killed a part of himself along with? A part that defined him. A part that lent him an opportunity to grow better. I am happy Red John died today. I am sad Jane might have too.
You see I am a huge fan of Batman. Joker is his nemesis. What is the Bat without the Joker? What is Jane without John? As I see it, Nothing. And that is why I sulk today. Not for John, but for Jane.
Adversities and adversaries are important. The more you deal with them, the more they define you. The more they polish you. The more they make you who you are meant to be. The bigger and mightier your foe, the more difficult your life will be. But then, the more you grapple with it, the better you become.
We each have a Red John in our life. A situation, a person, a calamity, an outbreak, that takes something from us….like….A life, a dream, a hope, a friend, a job, an internship… That is your Red John. It will break you. Shatter you. And throw you into little pieces. But that gives you an opportunity. To remake yourself. To rebuild better. To improve and be a stronger person. It might take you a moment. It might take you years. But when you defeat your Red John, you will come out a newer better person. And when you do, in hindsight, you will be sad that you had to face what you did, but you will be happy that you came out of it, newer, better, stronger.
I still have an entire season of The Mentalist left to watch. Patrick Jane is going to come back. He will solve crimes with his wit and amazing body language reading abilities. But I know, he would have grown. A newer, better, stronger Patrick Jane…
If you are reading this and if you are going through a tough time with your Red John, realize and remember this. There are people around you who care for you. Observing, watching, praying for you to defeat your Red John. Start fighting. And persevere. It is going to get better soon….